Court adjourns 26 cases over Thalidomide drug to November 2018
from the Irish Times as reported by AODHAN O'FAOLAIN, RAY MANAGH
The High Court has adjourned several claims for compensation over the use of the drug Thalidomide to a date in November to allow for further case management.
Twenty-six cases are being brought against the manufacturers of the drug, German firm Grunenthal GmbH, the Irish distributors, TP Whelehan Son & Co, and the Ministers for Health and Environment.
Thalidomide, which was launched as a sedative in Germany in 1957, is alleged to have caused deformities in unborn children when it was given to their pregnant mothers. The alleged wrongdoing dates back to the 1960s and the defendants deny all the claims. The actions have been case managed on their way to trial for the last few years and a preliminary issue yet to be determined is whether the cases are statute barred.
The cases yesterday returned before Mr Justice Séamus Noonan, who has expressed his concern about “the slow pace” of the proceedings. In his ruling, Mr Justice Noonan said the plaintiffs had a right to seek to discover documents from the State as part of their claim.
Court to rule on Thalidomide compensation cases
THE High Court will rule next week on how a number of claims for compensation over the Thalidomide drug should proceed.
It followed submissions yesterday from lawyers for the parties involved about how matters should proceed in advance of the hearing of a preliminary issue over whether the cases are statute barred. Some 26 cases are being brought against the manufacturers of Thalidomide, German firm Grunenthal GmbH, the Irish distributors TP Whelehan Son & Co, and the Ministers for Health and Environment. Many of the plaintiffs and their supporters were in court for the hearing.
Launched as a sedative in Germany in 1957, it is alleged the drug caused deformities in unborn children when it was given to their pregnant mothers. The alleged wrongdoing dates back to the 1960s. The actions are being case managed on their way to trial for the last few year.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs claimed there were difficulties in obtaining medical records to progress the cases. They also claimed the defendants were causing delays by making various applications in advance of trial.
The defendants deny the claims and say they have insufficient details of the precise claims being made against them. Mr Justice Seamus Noonan said he would give his decision next week.